Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Hotel from Hell . . .

I love going to cat shows.  I love staying in nice hotels.  I'm OK with staying in hotels that are merely clean and functional, as opposed to 'nice', if it means I can afford to go to cat shows.  But, I do have SOME standards . . .

Last weekend I was SO excited to be going the the Austin Cat Fanciers show in Austin, since I hadn't been to a show since the SC Regional back in August.  So Friday afternoon, I loaded up my furkids and headed to Austin, about 2 hours north of me.  My best friend Charlotte and I were planning to share a room to cut costs for both of us.  Fine with me, since it would give us time to visit, which happens all too rarely, now that we live a couple of hours apart.  We planned to meet at the show hotel, the La Quinta Inn Oltorf, and go from there to do some of our second most favorite activity, bead shopping. 

Char was a little late leaving from San Antonio, so I beat her to the hotel, arriving about 1:45pm.  I went ahead and checked us in.  "Do you want to leave your charges on the card you used to reserve the room?" the desk clerk asked.  "No, please switch it to this card", and I handed her my PayPal card, since my kitten money is also my 'go to shows' money.  OK, check in all taken care of, I left a key card up front for Char, and headed to the room to unload. 

I opened the door.  Hmmmm, smells a bit musty in here.  And it's quite warm, too.  OK, let's get that A/C turned on and maybe that'll take care of both problems.  I push the kid's stroller into the room, and head over to the A/C unit, glancing up as I do so.  Um, yeah . . that molding looking stain on the ceiling might account for the musty smell.  I switch the A/C on . . . it blows room temp air.  Well, crap.  OK, well, it's supposed to be in the 50's in Austin tonight, we'll be OK.  Frankly, I just didn't want to pack all my crap back out and switch rooms.  It'll do.  I head out on my bead shopping quest, figuring I can hit 'Bead It' by myself, and then Char and I will head to the other shops in north Austin when she gets here.

An hour later, I pull back into the parking lot, just as Charlotte arrives.  We pick up her key, and cart in her kids and stuff from the car, and then plop down to cool off, before heading out again.  Char, who's gone to sit in the recliner over in the corner, glances down towards the window and says "Is that a MINI-PAD on the floor?!?!?!?!"  and yes, surely enough it was.  Clean, with the strip still on the sticky part, but a mini-pad, nonetheless. 

"Hi, this is Leslie Hurley in 161, we found a mini-pad on the floor.  Yes, apparently the room was not thoroughly cleaned.  Can someone please come remove it?"

Twenty minutes later, the minipad is still on the floor, and I have come to a slow rolling boil.  So I got my broom out of the closet and rode down to the front desk, toilet paper sheathed mini-pad in had.  I deposited it front and center on the desk.  The guy who was waiting to check in said, "So how do you like the hotel?"

"Well, I guess if I were in need of someone else's feminine hygiene products I'd like it well enough.  Or if I wanted a musty smelling, moldy ceiling, non-A/C working room, I'd think it was just swell."  He looked a little green.  Suddenly, the desk clerk (you know, the one who was supposed to send someone down to remove said mini-pad 30 minutes ago) can't get off the phone and over to take care of me fast enough. 

"We're SO sorry, Mrs. Hurley.  We'll be happy to move you to another room."  I just bet they would - anything to shut me up . . . have I mentioned I'm fairly articulate and quite verbose, when pissed off?  I'm thinking the clerk had made this observation  first hand by the time I finished my rant. 

So we packed up all our stuff, kitty crap, and cats and moved down the hall.  Hallelujah!  The A/C works.  We cranked it down and headed out for an evening of bead revelry.  (Only those with the beading bug will understand how riveting this is, lol!)

After much bead fun and acquiring far more than I needed, and a fabulous dinner at Houston's (the steaks are to DIE for!) we arrived back at the hotel, tired but happy.  Even the minor embarrassment of my credit card not clearing at the last stop didn't dim my good mood.  (I would have SWORN I moved more money into that account . . . oh, well.)

By 10:30 I was pooped and ready for bed.  I climbed in and rolled over to put my glasses in the drawer of the nightstand.  Huh . . .

"Hey Char, did you leave this trash . . .?"  about that time I spotted the condom, along with the trash in the drawer.  No, pretty sure Char didn't leave that there.  Fortunately, it was an un-used condom, but the principle is the same - they hadn't bothered to check the drawers when they 'cleaned' (and I use the term loosely) the room.

I bounced (at least as much as a fat woman with a bad back can) out of bed, pulled my clothes back on over my jammies, and marched down to the front desk, with a fire in my eye and a cussing on my tongue.  Poor little desk clerk (who I'm sure thought of me as the 'mini-pad witch woman') paled at my approach.  I ranted for a while.  He slunk to the back room for gloves and headed down to the room to retrieve the offending item.

Well, I was wide awake then.  So I decided to check my bank balance to see what happened with that card that didn't clear earlier.  Fuck me running, they not only charged the new card I presented at check in, they didn't remove the charge from the card I'd used to hold the room.  So I'm paying for my shitty room twice.  Guess where I went . . . yes, clothes back on, and back to the front desk.  

New clerk on duty by this time.  "You'll have to speak to the manager in the morning."  Oh, I think you can safely count on that, bucko.

So the next morning, I go to have my snit with the manager, and they are kind enough to tell me they'll comp all but $60 of the $195.50 they have charged to each card.  Yep, that's right, a total of $391 for a two-night stay in this hotel hell.  I do some deep breathing.  OK, if they can refund me, all well and good. 

Today is Thursday, so I figured enough time has elapsed for them to have completed the credit.  And lo and behold, yes they have . . . for HALF the amount they said they would.  You can bet your sweet bippy, I'll be calling on that as soon as I get home from the shelter. 

Take it from me:  DO NOT STAY AT THIS PLACE - It is the PITS!

Now, if someone had told me this story, I'd tell them they were full of crap.  NO WAY all that happened . . . except it did.  What a crap hotel.  NEVER again.  I plan to blog, FaceBook, Twitter and tell every living breathing person I can find to never stay at the La Quinta Inn Oltorf in Austin, TX.   I can't WAIT to get my little 'satisfaction' survey from them . . . the email may catch on fire on it's way to LQ headquarters . . .

Off to put my broom back in the closet now, lol!


  1. It most definitely was NOT the nicest of hotels, but we didn't have as bad a room as you did. I hear Toni did though...

  2. What a tale. Hope you get restitution, but this was so funny, I had to read it aloud to Ken! I know, I know, we heard it from you at dinner on Saturday night, but oh, to read the words you strung together make it such a sweet read. Never stop blogging, Leslie!